Customer Review

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fell in love with "PLAN B" (a Romance)...BUT this......., 14 May 2012
This review is from: Absent [DVD] (DVD)
......Latest Work is so very much the opposite (well, perhaps there's a "tinge" of romantic love). Instead, we're being given: A Crush-love...almost a Stalkerish-love.


(( In a comparison, "Absent" is the more accomplished production....both in camera work and locations-wise. And as in the earlier film, here the Co-leads and supporting actors also cannot be faulted. Javier De Pietro, as Gay-aware, swim team student Martin Blanco, delivers an admirable first film performance as a mid-teens young man who is "crushing" on his team coach. Martin has a "Plan" (but...unlike in Director Berger's preceding film, no alternative, Plan B has even been thought of). Single-minded and intensely focused, our Martin has set his sights on placing himself in his team coach's very own bed. Next, as our unsuspecting object of affection (I mean, obsession), we have the attractive, student-oriented Coach Sebastian Armas (Carlos Echevarria, an experienced actor of some 12 films). This actor ably paints a picture for us of a serious and never smiling, heterosexual(?) man who is much concerned for those under his charge.....and possessing no(?) interest in the Gay lifestyle. ))


- The opening-credits camera shots, and especially the soundtrack, seem meant to be ominous in nature and apparently have been structured to forewarn where this film is heading. They consist of lingering, closeup angles of young Martin's striking and sexily hairy body. All this in the guise of a sports program physical exam (oh, of course). Continuing this fascination with Martin's body....later on, after our young trainee has manipulated his way into his coach's home, various intentionally provocative poses of Martin, in near undress, are provided by our Director....culminating in an early morning, "touchy-feely" visit to Sebastian's bed, as he lies sleeping.

- We are given long, sometimes static, film minutes (more than one-tenth film's running time) spent in an automobile front seat. Our Co-leads driving from place to place, as required by the storyline. These are uncomfortable (yet probably realistic) times spent together...with little dialog. Similarily, there are MANY other coach/trainee interactions where one might expect easy chatter/conversation. BUT such does not occur...and that is not what I would expect to happen between a dedicated coach and those he is mentoring...but perhaps such is not the case in countries outside the U.S.

- Young Martin appears not to interact with swimteam mates in a normal, youthful manner...and is shown to roam pool changing rooms, in the hopes of seeing other young men in stages of undress.

- After unsuccessful attempts to get closer to Sebastian during that night spent at the Coach's home, and perhaps ashamed of his actions, Martin quickly owns up. He does so in a note left for Sebastian, reading that he had contrived the overnight stay (but he does not specifically spell out what his aim had been). From that point, Martin begins distancing himself, even missing training sessions. Then occurs an uncomfortable scene in which Coach and his girlfriend (yes, he has one) take seats in a cinema, unaware that Martin and a young female acquaintance are already seated there. One seat separating the 2 men, (as the Director has planned for), we suspensefully wait for awareness of each other to hit the fan. Somewhat later, their relationship climaxes (yes, I use that word) in a face to face confrontation: Martin openly admits to his plan for a "hoped-for seduction". ....And Sebastian, realizing the untenable position in which he had been placed, directs a blow to Martin's face, and angry words are exchanged.

- Shortly thereafter, Tragedy Strikes.

We will never know this film's "What Might Have Been". Perhaps even Director Marco Berger cannot know. the story's closing 20 minutes, we find ourselves being carried along, in Sebastian's innermost mind, living each day--though he is acting as in a near-trance. Then, startlingly, we begin experiencing "What Might Have Been" memories of past times spent with Martin (but happening as Sebastian wishes they "might" have occurred). Closing shots take place with the Coach revisiting the darkened and ghostly poolhouse. Then follows a final scene of our Co-leads (yes, both) seeking and finding one another in the semi-darkness: ....a Sweet Admission of Regret....a Request for Forgiveness. And we see, for the very first time in this unhappy film, a tender smile appear on the face of Sebastian.

PS--Oh, face it....I want Romance! (M. B. does it so well)
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 May 2012 08:24:55 BDT
Michel Petit says:
This comment MUCH too lengthy.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 20:26:00 BDT
Oh, my....then you should see most of my others.

Posted on 11 Oct 2012 03:01:37 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Oct 2012 03:02:06 BDT
You're kidding-a gay themed film allowing our young protagonist to have a hairy body!? God what next!? Thankfully Europe are rather better than the US and UK about letting men and woman and growing boys and girls being themselves naturally. It could never happen in Hollywood. This film sounds really interesting and I shall keep it in mind.
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3.6 out of 5 stars (13 customer reviews)
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